It's NEW GAME+ TIME!!!
When we load our clear data save file, we appear in our house like any normal day. It's now the 2nd day of Spring, though, so we've traveled back in time to the beginning of the game. We skip the events of Spring 1st (meeting the Goddess and the sprites and agreeing to try to find a way to save the valley) since it would be obnoxious to watch those long scenes again. We also don't get the little tutorial from the sprites when we leave the house the first time, either.
All of our progress in the game's story is reverted back to the beginning -- it's our first day on the farm, and no one in the valley knows us yet. So when we talk to people, they're going to be saying their "so you're the guy who took over the farm?" type of things. And everyone's friendship level has gone back down to default.
Any key items we had are scrapped, so we lose Gwen's "lucky charm" potpourri that she gave us to help calm Nevile's nerves before the big race. But anything else that was in our bag -- all our tools and belongings -- are kept! So we still have all of our seeds, the junk we dug up on the farm, the berries and nuts we gathered from around the valley, and items that are story-relevant that count as 'tools,' like the fishing rod and the recorder.
The state of the farm is still the same -- basically anything that is recorded in the 'status' screen is kept over. That means we still have Luna (and her doghouse), all of our chickens, the cows that we just bought, and of course, our beloved horse Nevile that just won the race! I guess you can imagine that it's supposed to be like the game is starting over, but the inheritance from your grandfather is different. Instead of just a run-down farm without much in it, now he leaves you with his well-kept farm and everything he had. Even though it's really the stuff we earned last game. Or maybe we're our own grandpa. Actually, considering this series, I wouldn't be surprised if the story is supposed to be that we're our own grandpa or something because they just kind of make up whatever excuses they want for stories (like in Harvest Moon DS where it's not actually the same folk as previous games, it's their relatives from 1000 years in the future who all happen to look exactly the same, live exactly the same, have the same ages and names, etc. LOL)
Anyway, we also get to keep the power berries that we ate last time, so our base stamina is already higher from the start! We also keep our fishing records, though that doesn't really mean much. Especially for us, since we only caught one fish last game, anyway. Our animals' affection levels stay the same, too, so Nevile already loves us and can run fast, and Luna is still warming up to us but can understand some basic recorder tunes already. Our chickens are all grown up and happy, too. Our cows were only just beginning, so there's not too much difference than if we had just bought them. But they've had a few days to grow up, so they're closer to giving us some milk, at least.
We also get a little picture of a no-humped camel that is supposed to be a horse I think. Under the "ED" section, we're given a list of all the endings we've found so far. The official name of this ending is something like "The Story of the Horse that Won the Race" or something, apparently. I love that the main status menu clearly shows all the endings you've gotten, though. Makes collecting them more fun!
And with that, we're going to start on a new adventure. I was a little undecided about what ending to go for next. There's a certain event in one of the ending paths that can go a variety of ways depending on your affection levels with the townsfolk -- I think there's at least 6 different variations? So I wanted to do it early so I can get up to that point during the other playthroughs and see the variations since I'll be wooing different characters already anyway. Plus those variations will kind of add to the relationship with the prominent characters in the other stories so that would be cool.
But at the same time, that ending can take quite a bit of effort to achieve, and it helps to already have a pretty bustling farm with lots of resources from the start. It's good for a new game+ run. But I kinda held off on doing too much in the first run, and we finished super early anyway. So I didn't know if I wanted to go for that now or not... Plus some of the endings are extremely simple and have almost no content, so they're good for spending time focusing on farmwork and building up your resources. So I thought maybe I'd do one of those first...
Anyway, in the end, I decided to go for the harder thing. Every ending in the game is possible to get in a single playthrough without new game+, so it can't be that hard. Plus I always like to do the more challenging things. Also, I think one of the 'simple' endings might lead to a variation of the special scene, so I kind of want to wait to do it later rather than now, and the other 'simple' ending I was thinking of just saving for the end and using it as a 'cleanup' ending to finish 100%'ing the game however I need to.
So, we're going for the cake ending! Which also means we're going to be meeting one of my favorite characters. Actually, like, everyone is my favorite character in this game lol.
And yeah, I decided not to do the 'diary' thing any more at the beginning of entries. It wasn't particularly amazing, and too much of it would be repetitive from here on out. Sorry lol.